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Rio 2016: Olympic rowing competition marred by high winds, events postponed Sunday

Racing is cancelled for the day at the Lagoa Stadium on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. .
Racing is cancelled for the day at the Lagoa Stadium on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. . Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO – High winds continue to plague the Olympic rowing competition as Sunday’s races were called off due to the conditions.

Race officials initially pushed back the start of Sunday’s program at Lagoa Stadium but were eventually forced to postpone competition for the day.

Canada was to have four boats competing in heats and repechage rounds: the men’s lightweight four, women’s pair, women’s lightweight double sculls and men’s four.

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“You cannot row in these conditions. They made the right decision to postpone the racing for the day,” Rowing Canada high performance director Peter Cookson said. “We know that we’ve got a full week ahead of us still and I think in terms of getting the racing in by Saturday, we will be able to get that in.

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“The forecast is not great unfortunately for the entire week, but as an outdoor sport we’re at the mercy of the weather gods and we will deal with it.”

Strong winds and choppy water made racing difficult on the first day Saturday, when Serbia’s men’s pair capsized halfway through their heat, and a Canadian rower lost his grip on his oar.

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Windy conditions are expected to continue at least through Tuesday. The rowing regatta is scheduled to end on Aug. 13, but could be extended to Aug. 14 if needed.

“The team was prepared for this,” Cookson said. “We know that in rowing you can have delays due to weather. We know that sometimes you have to just hold off even though you’re prepared and ready to go. All the crews that were racing today were really ready to go, but I know that they will certainly be up for when they do get called to race.”